noiseredux vs.

Posted on Jul 12th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under PC

Oh to be young again. Remember "school vacation?" That magical time where you could sit and play video games for several months straight, and because you still had a working metabolism you wouldn't even gain any weight. But for some of us those days are long in the rearview. Now we have things like schedules, responsibilities and beer bellies to deal with. And so our downtime is more precious. Of course that doesn't mean we lose our hobby. Instead we find new ways in which the games fill these little cracks. Rather than gaming be all we do, we find that our schedules, responsibilities and beer bellies dictate how our lives flow and somehow the games themselves seem to figure out how they fit into our lives on their own.

Personally I tend to always be juggling a small handful of games at any given time. But it's not some jumbled ADD mess that I'm talking about. Nope, I'm talking about seriously focusing on specific games, but they have their own time and place.

The Long Game

This is the main game that I'm into at any given time. It's the one that I know is going to take me weeks or months to play through. It's also the game that I will only sit down with if I know I have a couple of hours to actually commit to it. This means that I'll probably only be playing The Long Game a few times a week most likely. Right now that game is Pillars Of Eternity for me. I'm nearly thirty hours in and there's a good chance that I'm not even halfway through what my final runtime will be. It's that game that I look most forward to booting up. I've even gone so far as to get the limited edition hardcover strategy guide just so I can thumb through it randomly or have a reference to resort to. It's my favorite game of "right now," but again, I just don't have the time to spent on it constantly. But, two or three nights a week, I play the heck out of it. The Long Game tends to be the sort of game that resonates with me the most throughout the year, and for good reason, they're the ones that I'm sticking with the longest.

My prior long games include Grand Theft Auto V and Dragon Age Origins, two games that I've created some great memories with much the same way I am with Pillars right now. Once I get through this one, I may finally delve into Cities Skylines and of course I'm awaiting the November release of XCOM 2 with the sort of impatience usually reserved for children on Christmas Eve.

The Short Game

This is pretty much the opposite of The Long Game; it is the game that I play when I know I've only got small spurts of time. Perhaps my wife is making dinner and I know I've got a half hour to kill. This is the perfect time to boot up the The Short Game. Shmups, fighting games, old school platformers... these are all great for The Short Game. Currently, I've started playing Yatagarasu Attack On Cataclysm, the new 2D fighting game by ex-SNK developers and last month I played through the DOS prot of Mega Man X doing one stage per sitting. Other recent Short Games include Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round, the Amiga port of Bonk's Adventure, and I've just recently reinstalled some old Mortal Kombat games as well. I suppose the need for brief pick-up-and-play games means that The Short Game will tend to satisfy the craving for more arcade-like experiences.

The Portable Game

You know the feeling: you want to play a game, but sitting in front of a TV or at a monitor just isn't convenient. Maybe you've got time sitting in a waiting room somewhere. Maybe the weather is nice enough that you might actually - perish the thought - go outside. This is where The Portable Game is an absolute must-have. For months now my Portable Game has been Hearthstone. I actually installed the game on my PC when it was released last year, but then never even fired it up once. There was something about it being a card game that just screamed "portable" to me. Perhaps this feeling was due to my prior infatuation with Card Fighters Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. So I just sort of kept an eye on Hearthstone news, patches, and updates, but never played it until it was finally released on Android this year. It was a perfect game to play on my Nvidia Shield Portable, and this meant that I could now leave my game room and venture out into the rest of the house. I can go and sit on the couch with my wife in the living room and play Hearthstone while she's watching TV, or we can go sit on the front porch and drink our coffee on a Saturday morning with Hearthstone to go. In fact, I have gotten so into it that I've found that I prefer the PC version over the Android version (even though it is really good) and so I even went as far as to buy an 11.6" Alienware laptop just so I could have that PC version of the game, but keep this as my Portable Game. Yes, I'm a bit neurotic.

Before Hearthstone, my Portable Game was Quiz Up on my Android phone, and before that, it was Bubble Witch Saga 2 on The Shield. I have no idea what could possibly replace Hearthstone because it won't let me stop.

The Co-Op With My Wife Game

Initially, my wife was far from being a gamer. She had a Colecovision and NES when she was younger, but outside of a handful of games there and a brief stint with Tekken 2 in the arcades, she really had no exposure to games for over a decade. Then slowly but surely, she started to get involved with playing games with me over the years. Though it's far from her top priority hobby, she enjoys some gaming downtime now and again. As a result, we've always got one game that sits on the backburner as the game we'll play when we find the time to game together. Currently, we're playing Lego Jurassic World, which has been a lot of fun. The Lego games are perfect for co-op. They're also great relaxation games, since they're never all that challenging. They are also fun, funny, and charming.

In the past, our Co-Op Games have ranged from anything from House Of The Dead 2 to Streets Of Rage, and we're happy to bounce around from genre to genre. For the most part, I'm fine with her picking the game. It takes some pressure off me, gives me an excuse to play something I maybe wouldn't have picked on my own, and it's more of a way to find the time to share the hobby with each other. We're pretty sure our next game will be Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy to gear up for the new movie coming later in the year.

The Thursday Night With The Dudes Game

So Thursday night is game night. For a year now, I've been playing with the same three friends every Thursday night. It's something to look forward to and we have a blast. It's the closest I get to those younger days of playing video games with my friends all night. Sadly, I have no gaming friends who live near me now, but hooray for the internet and all that. Thanks to Steam, playing games with friends is a breeze. So once a week after dinner, I throw on the headset and we all get together for something awesome. The genre changes from game to game. Right now we're playing through Borderlands The Pre-Sequel as we've already done the first two. I love this game and the series, and it's all because of our game night. I enjoyed these games solo, but they're really far better games with a group. The same can be said for games like Left 4 Dead and Killing Floor, which we've played in the past and had some great times with and created some awesome and hilarious memories. While FPS games with this group tend to be some of my favorites, we've dabbled in plenty of other diversions such as Duck Game, Talisman Digital Edition, Grim Dawn and even Terraria.

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Awesome article, Noise.  I love this little "peek" at your own gaming life and the little categories you have for your games.  Perhaps you should advertise it as a method for clearing backlogs.  I imagine using the "Noise Gaming Plan" one could knock out the majority of their unplayed/unfinished games in no time.  I'd love to see the infomercial for that.

Also, thanks for the heads up on Mega Man X for the PC.  I had a bunch of people tell me that game is rubbish, so now I'll bump it up a few notches on my "to play" list.
MMX on PC is interesting. It looks great, and plays great with the right controller (I used a USB SNES pad). The music is a mixed bag - it mixes MIDI and digital music. Some tracks sound terrible. Others interesting alternatives. There's a couple of slight differences too - no mech walker thingy in Chill Penguin's level for one. And the sub-boss in Spark's stage has different attack patterns. It was fun to explore though.
A well written and practical breakdown of modern gaming as an adult, Noise.  Your patterns aren't too dissimilar to mine; I'm often juggling one or two long term games, some quick pick-up-and-plays (usually on portables) and of course, our social gaming weekends.  Sometimes I toss in a perpetual, such as my Destiny while stationary biking.

Thanks for your great articles! Smiley
I would love to game with my wife again, but alas, she has that mental block where she thinks she stinks, and therefore won't play anything with me, because she feels like it won't be fun.  We used to have tons of fun with Tekken 3 and Virtual On, but that was years ago.  Now all she wants to play is Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon.  Sigh.  And I totally want a "Thursday Night With Dudes" kind of deal.  I need more friends, I guess!  Good article man, I can identify with your perspectives here for sure.
congrats for the very interresting article!  this seems a nice way to classify and juggle different games at a time.

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